From the monthly archives: "July 2014"

QuietAsItsKeptCover

Here’s a great 1959 recording of Max Roach with the Turrentine brothers and as mentioned below in the description, without a piano player to be found. Very interesting approach and in a time where there were so many great jazz pianist available to fill in. Nevertheless, it worked just great as Julian Priester (Trombone) and Bob Boswell (Bass) made up for the missing intricate sounds. Max Roach was in the middle of a tremendous album recording streak at the time, with 9 recordings in 1958, 5 including this one in 1959 and 3 more in 1960. One must note, these recordings are as a band leader, he participated and was part of several other recordings in this three year period, incredible! Max was a very hard working passionate man and never failed to deliver! “Quiet As It’s Kept” is a highly innovative album with quite a bit of “coolness” behind it. I real gem that everyone should own, great stuff!!

About the album:

This is an interesting 1959 date with Max Roach leading a piano-less quintet. The airy voicings for the horns, which include the Turrentine brothers (Tommy on trumpet and Stanley, of course, on tenor saxophone) and Julian Priester on trombone, approach a West Coast cool jazz-like texture, the kind of jazz abstractions which have worn very well over the years.….Read More

PatternsOfJazzCover

Cecil Payne is outstanding here in this straight forward early hard bop recording. He leads throughout and gives Kenny Dorham long breaks as he joins in occasionally with sweet little solos. Tommy Potter plays a loud sounding bass as Art Taylor follows along with short low quick spurts of his own. Duke Jordan is generally on the background end but successfully helps the music flow in a graceful manner. “Patterns of Jazz” is a great album to sit back and relax, not to mention, its a collectible!

About the album:

This 1956 set partners baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne with the superb rhythm section of pianist Duke Jordan, drummer Art Taylor, and bassist Tommy Potter. Their performances of originals, standards, and a pair of Randy Weston compositions are unpretentious bop artistry of a high caliber. Jordan and Potter played together in Charlie Parker’s quintet of the late ’40s and are well-equipped to meet the demands of bebop. The pianist’s economical, swinging style falls somewhere between Count Basie’s and Thelonious Monk’s. Like them, Jordan is supremely skilled at saying a lot with a little. His open approach leaves plenty of space for the unassuming virtuosity of Potter and Taylor….. Read more

CecilPayneImageBio

Cecil Payne Biography (Wikipedia):

Acclaimed by peers and critics among the finest baritone saxophonists of the bebop era, Cecil Payne remains best remembered for his three-year stint with Dizzy Gillespie’s seminal postwar big band. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on December 14, 1922, Payne began playing saxophone at age 13, gravitating to the instrument after hearing Lester Young’s work on Count Basie’s “Honeysuckle Rose.” Young’s supple, lilting tone remained a profound influence throughout Payne’s career. After learning to play under the tutelage of local altoist Pete Brown, Payne gigged in a series of local groups before receiving his draft papers in 1942. He spent the four years playing with a U.S. Army band, and upon returning to civilian life made his recorded debut for Savoy in support of J.J. Johnson. During a brief stint with Roy Eldridge, Payne put down his alto and first adopted the baritone. Later that year he joined the Gillespie orchestra, earning renown for his unusually graceful approach to a historically unwieldy instrument. Payne appears on most of Gillespie’s key recordings from this period, including “Cubano-Be/Cubano-Bop,” and solos on cuts like “Ow!” and “Stay on It,” but despite near-universal respect among the jazz cognoscenti, he remained a little-known and even neglected figure throughout his career.

After exiting the Gillespie ranks in 1949, Payne headlined a session for Decca backed by pianist Duke Jordan and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Following tenures with Tadd Dameron and Coleman Hawkins, in 1952 Payne launched a two-year stint with Illinois Jacquet, and in 1956, he toured Sweden alongside childhood friend Randy Weston. That same year, Payne also headlined the Savoy LP Patterns of Jazz. In 1957, he and fellow baritonist Pepper Adams backed the legendary John Coltrane on Dakar…….Read More

New Music Podcasts with Classic Jazz Talk on BlogTalkRadio

Alan (Giants of Jazz Radio) and Jose (Jazz Con Class Radio) are very honored to have with us jazz historian, jazz journalist and author Scott Yanow. We will cover his biography in detail and then concentrate on “West Coast Jazz.” We will decipher this sub-genre of “Cool Jazz” by discussing its roots and its history. We will also touch on the 60’s Jazz scene in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Join us, listen and/or call in!

ScottYanowInterviewBlogtalkradio

Scott Yanow (Bio):

…..Jazz Journalist and historian. Since then, I have been involved in many projects. Being the Senior Editor for the 3rd edition of the All Music Guide For Jazz resulted in a countless number of my CD reviews and biographies being utilized throughout the internet including Pandora Radio. In addition to having written ten books so far (most recently The Jazz Singers) and writing for the Jazz Heritage Club, I have written several episodes for the popular jazz radio series Jim Cullum’s Riverwalk – Live At The Landing.

I have written over 750 liner notes, hundreds of press biographies and press releases, and it has been said that I have reviewed more jazz recordings than anyone in history.  I have contributed to virtually all of the major jazz magazines including Downbeat, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Cadence, Coda, The Mississippi Rag, Jazz Forum, Jazz News, The Jazz Report, Planet Jazz, Jazz Now and Jazz
Improv. These days I write regularly for Jazz Inside, Downbeat, Jazziz, Los Angeles Jazz Scene and The Jazz Rag…..Learn More

OnTheTrailCover

Jimmy Heath is not spoken of and even compared to the artists of his time. He was overlooked and this album shows it as he was a great part of the great 60’s jazz  movement that only helped solidify its presence and its importance to society. Jazz was more inventive and more responsive to reflect the hardships the country was going through. This album “On the trail” was recorded in 1964 and once again as most albums in those days, was supported by an all-star band. There’s Wynton Kelly on piano, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Paul Chambers on bass and brother Albert on drums. Outstanding albumthat every jazz fan should own.

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1994, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Unlike some of his other Riverside recordings, the accent on this Jimmy Heath CD reissue is very much on his tenor playing (rather than his arrangements). Heath is in excellent form with a quintet that also includes pianist Wynton Kelly, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. …..Read More

JimmyHeathBioImage

Jimmy Heath biography:

Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger.  Jimmy is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums), and is the father of Mtume.   He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis.  In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner.  One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd.  Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

During his career, Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader.  Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon.  Jimmy has also composed extended works – seven suites and two string quartets – and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY) with Maurice Peress conducting….Read More

MilesSmilesJeremyYudkinBookCover

Alan Bramwell (Giants of Jazz Radio) and I we be conducting a LIVE interviewing with Jeremy Yudkin, author of “Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post Bop.” The co-hosts will mostly concentrate on the book but there will be much more covered with Jeremy, he is very qualified in the field of music.The listeners will have a golden opportunity to ask Jeremy specific questions about jazz and music in general. Listen in and/or call in with your questions. The official name is “Classic Jazz Talk” and the link to our main page is here. Here’s a description to this particular show:

Checkout the official show’s page here listen-in and/or call-in

More on the book:

Focusing on one of the legendary musicians in jazz, this book examines Miles Davis’s often overlooked music of the mid-1960s with a close examination of the evolution of a new style: post bop. Jeremy Yudkin traces Davis’s life and work during a period when the trumpeter was struggling with personal and musical challenges only to emerge once again as the artistic leader of his generation…..Learn More

 

TheBookCooks

There’s almost no information about this particular recording and its a crying shame! In fact, “The Book Cooks” is Booker Ervin’s debut album and most debut recordings are celebrated with much fanfare. Typical treatment and very upsetting for one of the best jazz tenor saxophonist ever. Booker Ervin had a very distinctive sound and no other great tenor in his time sounded like him. The closest to sounding like him would be Jackie McLean and he played the alto. Teaming “The Book” up with Zoot Simms surely worked, as they played off each other and spontaneously without a hitch. Tommy Turrentine, older brother of tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine,and another unappreciated jazz trumpeter (biography below) is outstanding in this recording also. Completing the sextet, you have Tommy Flanagan on piano, Dannie Richmond on drums and George Tucker on bass. A classic hard bop album that includes some of the best played ballads.

TommyTurrentineBio

Biography of Tommy Turrentine (Curt’s Jazz Cafe):

As a trumpet soloist Turrentine had all the qualities necessary for greatness. He had a full, warm tone throughout the range of the instrument and possessed the ability to create solos using long unbroken lines. His flair for melodic improvisation using long climaxes often contrasted sharply with the more disjointed creations of younger men who seemed anxious to brush aside convention. – Alun Morgan

He was the older brother of one of the most famous jazz musicians of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. His kid brother recorded dozens of albums, including a few that are fondly remembered as classics. He was every bit the musician that baby brother was. Yet Stanley Turrentine is a bona fide jazz legend, while Tommy Turrentine, who recorded only one album as a leader in his entire career, is unknown to all but ardent jazz fans and the many musicians who still marvel at his gifts, both as a trumpet player and as a composer…….Read More

 

MingusSpeaksBookInterview

The Jazz Con Class Radio listeners should be very happy to know that I, along with Alan Bramwell, who also has a classic jazz radio station (Giants of Jazz Radio) will be conducting our debut show on Blogtalkradio.com. The official name is “Classic Jazz Talk” and the link to our main page is here. Here’s a description to this particular show:

MINGUS SPEAKS is a book of extended interviews which allowed the man to explain himself. He was assisted by me, the interviewer, and by a number of close associates who commented on aspects of his life, behavior and music.

We did the interviews in 1972 and 1974, five years before Mingus died. It was a contentious and wonderful period in his life and for his music….Learn More

WahooCover

Duke Pearson was quite an innovator and this recording is a great example, as mentioned below in the description, he wrote and composed all but the last song on this album. This album “Wahoo!” was recorded in 1964 and released the year after on the Blue Note label. The personnel and fellow musicians that accompany Duke Pearson in this recording is why it was awarded 5 stars by many so-called “jazz critics.” An all star cast with Donald Byrd (Trumpet), James Spaulding on alto, Joe Henderson on tenor, Bob Cranshaw on bass and Mickey Roker on drums. This album is considered by Allmusic reviewer, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, as an “advance hard bop” album, someone please tell me what that means? Its different and has its own style but cannot really be categorize as hard bop. It seems to me that some jazz recording are a sort of daring experiments that end out helping a new style to develop and to the point where it could stand on its own. I feel this album helped aid Post Bop into existence but of course, would never be possible without the hard bop style before it. The evolution of jazz and how it slowly developed on its own. Great album, get it!!

About the album:

A truly wonderful advanced hard bop date, Wahoo captures pianist Duke Pearson at his most adventurous and creative. With the exception of Donald Byrd’s closing “Fly Little Bird Fly,” Pearson wrote all of the material on this six-song album, and his compositions are clever, melodic, and unpredictable without being cloying or inaccessible. He has assembled a first-rate sextet to perform the material, enlisting trumpeter Byrd, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Bob Cranshaw, alto saxophonist/flautist James Spaulding, and drummer Mickey Roker. Even the subdued “Wahoo” and “ESP” search out new territory with their subtle themes and exploratory solo sections. ……Read More

DukePearsonCover

Biography of Duke Pearson:

Duke Pearson (August 17, 1932 – August 4, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer. All Music Guide notes him as being a “big part in shaping the Blue Note label’s hard bop direction in the 1960s as a producer.

Born Columbus Calvin Pearson, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, Pearson first studied brass instruments at the early age of five, but dental issues forced him to pursue another instrument and he started to learn the piano. His budding talent moved his uncle to give him the nickname Duke, a reference to jazz legend Duke Ellington. He attended Clack College while also playing trumpet in groups in the Atlanta area before joining the United States Army in the early 1950s. Pearson continued to perform with different ensembles in Georgia and Florida, including with Tab Smith and Little Willie John, before he moved to New York, New York in January of 1959. After moving to New York, Pearson gained the attention of Donald Byrd who saw Pearson performing with the the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Sextet (also known as Jazztet). Shortly afterwards, Byrd asked him to join his newly formed band, the Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams Quintet. Pearson was also the accompanist for Nancy Wilson on tour in 1961. During that same year, Pearson became ill before a Byrd-Adams show when and a newcomer named Herbie Hancock took over for him. This eventually led to Hancock taking over the position permanently……..Read More

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